Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thoughts on Thunder...and other things

Saturday marked the beginning of the two week long celebration until the Kentucky Derby on May 6 (and heck yes I am going, you will hear more on that later) I heard someone describe Derby as a season around here; you have Christmas, Easter, and then Derby. I would say I agree so far. Yesterday was "Thunder over Louisville". According to the news, a crowd of 800,000 headed down to the waterfront for this event. There was an air show all afternoon, "The best air show ever" apparently. We got downtown around 5ish and it was well underway and contiuned until the fireworks. We ran into a couple protestors along the way and talked to them a bit. They gave us a flyer and I have to say I definitely agree with their argument. The whole display was very militaristic. I'll admit the planes were cool looking, but when you think of their real purpose, it is rather disturbing. These protestors had some good points, such as "don't equate reveling in glamorized military might with patriotism" and my favorite "Respect and welcome Louisville's growing immigrant communities, some of whom relive the terror of warplanes bombing their towns." I think that is well put. We had discussions about this at work the past week. We live right by the airport and they were testing those damn planes all week. Heck, I had dreams about being bombed! And I know it disturbed some of the kids, and adults too I'm sure. Anyways, after the controversial air show (in my mind at least) was a rather impressive display of fireworks, fired off from the Second Street Bridge over the Ohio River. They say it is the biggest and best fireworks display in the nation and I would have to agree. Definitely the best I have ever seen. We watched them from inside the Presbyterian headquarters downtown (thanks to a friend of the LUC). There was a big window up high with a great view of the bridge, so we could see them well. However I must say I prefer watching fireworks outside. But we did get the benefit of air conditioning and clean restrooms, along with delicious free food provided for us. We did brave the crowds for awhile and walk around before the fireworks and it was pretty insane. So was getting home. We took the bus, but it took us forever to get out of the massive crowd of people to get to the bus stop (the normal one, not the special one running just for Thunder, we're cheap). We were stuck in a traffic jam of people for a good twenty minutes, barely moving. Of course my allergies were acting up and I had an asthma attack at this precise moment. We finally made it to the bus, only to sit on it for a good hour and a half before returning home! But it was a fun night. I did enjoy the fireworks although the still bitter side of me was thinking "one of those fireworks could have saved Americana Community Center!" The whole thing cost $6 million!! Isn't that ridiculous? And it was rather ironic that Thunder coincided with Earth Day this year.

Tomorrow starts the last week of the full-blown after-school program. We are going to end on Thursday with a party and talent show. And Friday will be the last day of work for those getting laid off. So last week at work wasn't too bad. We told the kids on Tuesday (right after I returned from my mini-break at home, which really was perfect timing to get away). But then I was snapped back into reality. Most of them don't really get it, especially the younger ones. Or they won't realize it until it's over. Some were really sad though, and that was hard. And the behavior has gotten worse since we told them. Again, it hasn't quite sunk in for me. But the mood at work has been more hopeful than I expected. The rumor mill has been spreading around town that we are completely shutting down, which is obviously not the truth. I guess you could describe it as more of a "step back" or a "restructuring." It seems like things will look up again in the near future (at least that is what they are leading us to believe). Those of us who remain will contiune providing homework help three days a week until school is over, along with some volunteers hopefully. And we will still have Kids Cafe, which provides dinner for the kids three days a week. And it looks like we will be able to offer activities in the summer, although it won't be a full-blown summer program like they have had in the past. It still sucks though. It will be sad to not work with these people after next week. I don't even want to think about it! And it looks like the job of youth programs coordinator will be put on Shavaun and I this summer. Not sure we can live up to the great job that Amy did with this - they are really losing a valuable person. I have been having fun with my coworkers lately. We had a "poker night" the other day at my apartment after work and I won!! We each put in $2 so I got a little money too. I have never won poker before so that was exciting for me. Friday night a bunch of us went out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. And then a few of us went out to kareoke. That was a lot of fun. It was this little Korean place where you rent a private room. For anyone who went to Vietnam with me, it was very similar to what we did there. It was an amusing time, especially since none of us can really sing. Ah..good times. I hope to still hang out with these people often after they are no longer working with me!

Ok time for bed. It's going to be a long week.....


At 6:33 PM, Blogger Abby said...

One of the other interns today made us "Derby Pie." It was pretty good, have you ever had it?

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Maria said...

Hmmm..Derby Pie..never had it. Is it good?

At 1:34 PM, Blogger abbymonnin said...

I never really thought of fireworks and air shows like that, but you are so right. I know it's silly but after 9/11 I freaked out for a while about planes. I couldn't imagine actually living through something tramatic like that and then having people celebrate with it!!


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